Forums can 'have a life of their own' or be very controlled, here is an outline of the basic types available
Guestbook ForumThe guestbook forum is good for friends and family to leave messages on your site.
Classifieds ForumThe classifieds forum has groups/classifications and this forum is intended for leaving one message on for the short term, and only to have private replies. Please remember to set the data expiry setting under page options, so that classified messages will expire after a time.
The threaded forum is good for debate or discussion based learning or group collaboration of ideas. It allows people to start a new thread or topic, and for others to post public replies to that topic.
This is a slightly more complex forum, requiring a special registration form that asks for demographic information. It then provide a series of voting questions under different topics. For each question, the user may vote if they agree or disagree, and optionally leave a message why. All the votes are then collated into statistics and graphs that are visible as soon as you have completed any question. The messages are always visible, so that everyone has a chance to sway others opinions. Those messages are neatly ordered on the page so that all those in agreement are grouped on one side of the page, and all those of the negative opinion on the other. This keeps discussion more orderly than traditional forums.
Advertiser PagesWhile this isn't exactly a 'forum' it might be an option as it gives members the ability to ad and manage their own content. This is good when providing advertising, for example a tourism portal website, where accomodation providers have their own pages where they might need to update their rates and availability. Unlike forums however, advertisers do need the webmaster to set this up for them (When editing any info/advertiser pages, please look for an Administrator tab top right... ). But after the advertiser has a login, they can contribute to their own little space on a regular basis. To add this facility is different than the above options ("Add a new page">"Photo Galleries, FAQ and Directories">"Advertiser pages")
General notes about all forums except Super Vote and Advertiser Pages
Each forum message has a private reply function allowing any reader to contact the person who left a message.Forum messages will last for as long as you want them to. You can have them automatically deleted after a period of days, weeks, months or years.Forum messages can be posted by anyone if you don't have password protection enabled. Extend our forums in combination with password protection and membership databases to maintain private discussion forums.Users can delete their own messages, so long as they remember the email address they posted their message with. This email address is kept private, so therefore its an easy way to delete a message, without requiring a password.Spam is automatically prevented by sending the poster a confirmation email link, that they must click before their messages will be live. Once they have clicked this link, they will be able to post as many messages as they like.You can also prohibit members so that they can never post another message again. And you can also prohibit bad words or URLs so that they will never appear on your website. This is a great way to keep your website clean.The web master also has the ability to moderate their forums, and can do this collectively. eg if you have several forums, its easier to moderate all the content in one list in date order.Messages are in ordered in reverse chronological order by default, but you can also sort them chronologically. If the list is chronological, the last page of messages is shown first, so the most recent messages are always on the first page you see.If the list of messages is very large a list of SEO friendly page links will let you go straight to the page you want. This has maximum SEO benefits when used in chonological order mode.